Do Buddhist believe in god?

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby drifting cloud » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:54 am

For what it's worth, I think the entire theist/atheist debate is something of a sectarian family quarrel within Western culture (by which I mean the large body of thought incorporating and in some cases synthesizing Greco-Roman philosophy and Abrahamic religion and the concepts pertaining to each). Like all family quarrels, it is better for outsiders not to get involved, and thus I believe that we Buddhists would do best to steer clear of the entire mess, and not describe ourselves in terms of theism or atheism.

While the Suttas specifically dispense with the notion of a Supreme Being and Creator (for example the Brahmajāla Sutta), I think the term "atheist" can also be misleading when applied to the Dhamma. Many self-professed atheists - especially public intellectuals who proclaim their atheism and skepticism - subscribe to some form of annhilationism, which the Buddha also identifies as a wrong view in the same Brahmajāla Sutta. Thus while it is not technically incorrect to say that Buddhism is compatible with atheism, there is a potential for misrepresentation, given popular usage of the word "atheist" and those who associate themselves with this label. It seems to me that fundamentally what Buddhist practice aims at is something beyond views; that includes all views for or against the existence of a god. Getting caught up in this particular debate strikes me as a distraction from that practice.
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:48 am

drifting cloud wrote:While the Suttas specifically dispense with the notion of a Supreme Being and Creator (for example the Brahmajāla Sutta), I think the term "atheist" can also be misleading when applied to the Dhamma. Many self-professed atheists - especially public intellectuals who proclaim their atheism and skepticism - subscribe to some form of annhilationism, which the Buddha also identifies as a wrong view in the same Brahmajāla Sutta. Thus while it is not technically incorrect to say that Buddhism is compatible with atheism, there is a potential for misrepresentation, given popular usage of the word "atheist" and those who associate themselves with this label. It seems to me that fundamentally what Buddhist practice aims at is something beyond views; that includes all views for or against the existence of a god. Getting caught up in this particular debate strikes me as a distraction from that practice.
See:

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=13029&p=196705&#p196705
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:23 am

Judai wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Judai wrote:read the suttas provided to you,if you read them then you wouldnt be asking me this question,instead you would know the Buddha did answer the undeclared things to different people,and left them undeclared to those who would cling to those views.

Hi Judai,
I did, and have read them before among others.
you have not shown that! the chalange is there to provide evidence of anything I missed in the last two texts you mention, if you can not that is fine.
BTW - I have shown evidence for my claim of the Third Noble Truth.



um the suttas do say that and I have shown that.

you evidence for the 3rd noble truth just shows what i told you it said,the Buddha simply telling you it exists,the path to realise and end suffering isnt given until the 4th.

um, the direct quote is where?

unfortunately for you I quoted the third noble truth not the fourth, and a similar passage is found for the fourth negating it meaning something other than the Noble Truth it is connected with.
and considering I am asking for you to point out where these suttas (which have been read in full) say what you claim, and you haven't.... the proof is still your burden and claims do not suffice as evidence.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby Judai » Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:53 am

um the suttas do say that and I 've shown that.

you evidence for the 3rd noble truth just shows what i told you it said,the Buddha simply telling you it exists,the path to realise and end suffering isnt given until the 4th.[/quote]
um, the direct quote is where?

unfortunately for you I quoted the third noble truth not the fourth, and a similar passage is found for the fourth negating it meaning something other than the Noble Truth it is connected with.
and considering I am asking for you to point out where these suttas (which have been read in full) say what you claim, and you haven't.... the proof is still your burden and claims do not suffice as evidence.[/quote]


MY REPLY:

(1)This concerns the end of this world and shows when this world ends all life does to the heavens then it shows when a new world begins we are reborn unto it this answers the question of if this world is eternal.

aggana sutta,10. 'There comes a time, Vasettha, when, sooner or later after a long period, this world
contracts. At a time of contraction, beings are mostly born in the Abhassara Brahma
world. And there they dwell, mind-made, feeding on delight, self-luminous, moving
through the air, glorious — and they stay like that for a very long time. But sooner or
later, after a very long period, this world begins to expand again. At a time of expansion,
the beings from the Abhassara Brahma world, [85] having passed away from there, are
mostly reborn in this world. Here they dwell, mind-made, feeding on delight, selfluminous,
moving through the air, glorious--and they stay like that for a very long time.
11. 'At that period, Vasettha, there was just one mass of water, and all was darkness,
blinding darkness. Neither moon nor sun appeared, no constellations or stars appeared,
night and day were not distinguished, nor months and fortnights, no years or seasons,
and no male and female, beings being reckoned just as beings. And sooner or later,
after a very long period of time, savoury earth spread itself over the waters where those
beings were.

(2)this shows that ALL living beings continue to exist after desolution of the Body,if you are a normal person you will continue to exist and be reborn forever(never ceaseing to exist)if one is a Buddha the Buddha will continue to exist for after the paranibbana of the Buddha their is no extermination of an existing being.

Speaking in this way, teaching in this way, I have been erroneously, vainly, falsely, unfactually misrepresented by some brahmans and contemplatives [who say], ‘Gotama the contemplative is one who misleads. He declares the annihilation, destruction, extermination of the existing being.’ But as I am not that, as I do not say that, so I have been erroneously, vainly, falsely, unfactually misrepresented by those venerable brahmans and contemplatives [who say], ‘Gotama the contemplative is one who misleads. He declares the annihilation, destruction, extermination of the existing being.’ (MN 22, trans. Thanissaro, 2004)
Another passage can be found in the Yamaka Sutta, where some of the Buddha’s disciples advise Yamaka against annihilationism:
Don't say that, friend Yamaka. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One. It's not good to misrepresent the Blessed One, for the Blessed One would not say, ‘A monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, and does not exist after death.’ (SN 22.85, trans. Thanissaro, 1997)

(3)This speaks about the Buddha being Permanent

the subtle, the very-hard-to-see,
the ageless, permanence, the undecaying,
the surface-less, non-objectification,
peace, the deathless,
the exquisite, bliss, solace,
the exhaustion of craving,
the wonderful, the marvelous,
the secure, security,
nibbana… (SN 43, trans. Thanissaro, 1999)

(4)this shows the Buddha is all knowing/all seeing,pure and perfect,and is the supreme being having no living being higher than a Buddha,hence supreme being/higher being.

(MAJJHIMA NIKAYA The noble search Sutta 26)
"I am one who has transended all,a knower of all,Unsullied among all things,renouncing all,By craving's ceasing freed.Having known this all for myself,to whom should I point as teacher? I have no teacher,and one like me Exists nowhere in all the world,With all its gods,Because I have No person for my counterpart.I am the Accomplished One in the world
I am the Teacher Supreme.I alone am the fully Enlightened One,Whose fires are quenched and extinguished.To set in motion the Wheel of the Dhamma In a world that has become blind.I go to beat the drum of the deathless."

(5)with these passages we can show the Buddha is all knowing,all seeing,all loving,all pure and perfect,and the supreme being that none are higher than,and the Buddha is Permanent,and that ALL living beings including the Buddha continue to exist and NO living being ceases to exist after death,also that this world ends and living beings have to go to a heaven and when a world comes into existance then we can become reborn in a earth world.

peace and Love have a nice day.
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:45 am

Hi Judai,
please learn how to use the quote function it makes posts easier to read and see who said what.
Judai wrote:MY REPLY:

(1)This concerns the end of this world and shows when this world ends all life does to the heavens then it shows when a new world begins we are reborn unto it this answers the question of if this world is eternal.

aggana sutta,10. 'There comes a time, Vasettha, when, sooner or later after a long period, this world
contracts. At a time of contraction, beings are mostly born in the Abhassara Brahma
world. And there they dwell, mind-made, feeding on delight, self-luminous, moving
through the air, glorious — and they stay like that for a very long time. But sooner or
later, after a very long period, this world begins to expand again. At a time of expansion,
the beings from the Abhassara Brahma world, [85] having passed away from there, are
mostly reborn in this world. Here they dwell, mind-made, feeding on delight, selfluminous,
moving through the air, glorious--and they stay like that for a very long time.
11. 'At that period, Vasettha, there was just one mass of water, and all was darkness,
blinding darkness. Neither moon nor sun appeared, no constellations or stars appeared,
night and day were not distinguished, nor months and fortnights, no years or seasons,
and no male and female, beings being reckoned just as beings. And sooner or later,
after a very long period of time, savoury earth spread itself over the waters where those
beings were.

there is an important line starting this section which demonstrates something
"This illustration will make clear to you how Dhamma is best in this world and in the next."

it illustrates for explaining a point.
although yes it does describe the cosmic expansion and contraction it is not showing an eternalistic universe which had no starting point

(2)this shows that ALL living beings continue to exist after desolution of the Body,if you are a normal person you will continue to exist and be reborn forever(never ceaseing to exist)if one is a Buddha the Buddha will continue to exist for after the paranibbana of the Buddha their is no extermination of an existing being.

Speaking in this way, teaching in this way, I have been erroneously, vainly, falsely, unfactually misrepresented by some brahmans and contemplatives [who say], ‘Gotama the contemplative is one who misleads. He declares the annihilation, destruction, extermination of the existing being.’ But as I am not that, as I do not say that, so I have been erroneously, vainly, falsely, unfactually misrepresented by those venerable brahmans and contemplatives [who say], ‘Gotama the contemplative is one who misleads. He declares the annihilation, destruction, extermination of the existing being.’ (MN 22, trans. Thanissaro, 2004)
Another passage can be found in the Yamaka Sutta, where some of the Buddha’s disciples advise Yamaka against annihilationism:
Don't say that, friend Yamaka. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One. It's not good to misrepresent the Blessed One, for the Blessed One would not say, ‘A monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, and does not exist after death.’ (SN 22.85, trans. Thanissaro, 1997)

A being is that which is caught up with any of the five aggregates, as the Buddha is not after the Parinibbana it is not suitable to say an arahant exists or does not exists after death as their is no being.
"Satta Sutta: A Being" (SN 23.2), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 30 June 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html wrote:I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Ven. Radha went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up[1] there, tied up[2] there, one is said to be 'a being.'[3]

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for feeling... perception... fabrications...

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'

(3)This speaks about the Buddha being Permanent

the subtle, the very-hard-to-see,
the ageless, permanence, the undecaying,
the surface-less, non-objectification,
peace, the deathless,
the exquisite, bliss, solace,
the exhaustion of craving,
the wonderful, the marvelous,
the secure, security,
nibbana… (SN 43, trans. Thanissaro, 1999)

not in the slightest, it is talking about Nibbana.

(4)this shows the Buddha is all knowing/all seeing,pure and perfect,and is the supreme being having no living being higher than a Buddha,hence supreme being/higher being.

(MAJJHIMA NIKAYA The noble search Sutta 26)
"I am one who has transended all,a knower of all,Unsullied among all things,renouncing all,By craving's ceasing freed.Having known this all for myself,to whom should I point as teacher? I have no teacher,and one like me Exists nowhere in all the world,With all its gods,Because I have No person for my counterpart.I am the Accomplished One in the world
I am the Teacher Supreme.I alone am the fully Enlightened One,Whose fires are quenched and extinguished.To set in motion the Wheel of the Dhamma In a world that has become blind.I go to beat the drum of the deathless."

and what is the all?
"Sabba Sutta: The All" (SN 35.23), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 30 June 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html wrote:"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."


(5)with these passages we can show the Buddha is all knowing,all seeing,all loving,all pure and perfect,and the supreme being that none are higher than,and the Buddha is Permanent,and that ALL living beings including the Buddha continue to exist and NO living being ceases to exist after death,also that this world ends and living beings have to go to a heaven and when a world comes into existance then we can become reborn in a earth world.

peace and Love have a nice day.

All Loving? All knowing? all seeing? supreme being?
you are jumping to the last! and you have not shown the Buddha is all loving (and the only term you could use (Mette) is disputed as to its precise meaning)
the middle two are probably not meant in the way you are trying to use them
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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